Editorial Vol. VIII

Republic Day Zindabad!

We are extremely happy to bring out the VIII edition of Urooj today on Republic Day.

Parcham began the Urooj program with the aim of dialoguing with Muslim youth on citizenship. We had often heard ‘nothing can be expected from the government’, a resignation a secondary citizenship status. over the past two and half years, we have had amazing conversations and debates with youth on citizenship and the Muslim identity.

Mumbra is a Muslim ghetto. In 2010, some feminist groups came together to understand the status of Mumbra vis a vis the Sachar Commission findings. What the report stated about infrastructure and amenity provision for Muslim ghettos was found true for Mumbra as well. Armed with data and photo documentation, a public hearing was organized. it was attended by the MLA, the Secy of the Minority Development Dept, and heads of departments of services of the Thane Municipal Corporation. Soon after, a public hospital was announced, a new school building was constructed, road projects were executed among other initiatives. We do not claim that all this was a result of one public hearing. But it did get the attention of the elected representatives and of the officials.

Since Parcham began its work in Mumbra in 2012, we have regularly engaged with the administration and our elected representatives with demands for services for the betterment of Mumbra which have been met with a favorable response.

With Municipal elections to be announced shortly, we took the opportunity to work towards a manifesto with youth on a Mumbra they would feel proud of. To that end, we conducted sessions to acquaint ourselves with the findings of the Sachar Committee report. We also read Mumbra Status Report by Tata Institute of Social Science. Youth were given the task of surveys of schools, health services, parks, streets to document the problems. This was followed by brainstorming on possible solutions.

The thought in creating a program such as Urooj was creating a cadre of informed and active citizens, who understand their role and execute their responsibility in social transformation. This edition of Urooj, which is a documentation of the manifesto, is a testament to the success of the program. Part two of this newsletter will be the document of the experiences of the youth who engaged in the process of creating the manifesto and taking it to the elected representatives.

The Manifesto covers

  1. Education
  2. Health
  3. Sanitation
  4. Road Safety
  5. Recreation
  6. Women’s Safety

We look forward to your feedback.

We wish to thank CORO for the Samta Fellowship awarded to Parcham which has supported this initiative.


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